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Brief History of Coffee



Most of our coffees come from smaller farms and cooperatives. The expense and usage of herbicides and toxins is economically prohibitive, and by default many of the farms are practicing sustainable and organic farming techniques. Our coffees are registered as 100% Organic Certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI). These agencies ensure the products are organically grown under a management policy of sustainable agriculture, and the products are handled under goals preserving the integrity created in the organic commodity.

The Fair Trade Certified label guarantees that farmers and workers receive a fair price for their product. Fair Trade by design promotes and encourages maintenance of delicate ecosystems, biodiversity, and often provides shelters for migratory birds. Without Fair Trade, many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are well below the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt. Fair Trade works to correct these imbalances by guaranteeing a minimum wage for small producers' harvests and by encouraging organic and sustainable cultivation methods. Fair Trade farmers are provided badly needed credit and assured a minimum price per pound above the current world price for specialty coffee. With the profits generated from receiving fair wages, coffee growers can invest in health, education, and environmental protection.

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The Bird Friendly® certification guarantees the coffee was grown in compliance to organic certification standards, in addition to the farm’s shade canopy maintaining diverse polycultures to support biodiversity of bird species. Migratory birds depend on the dense forest canopies that provide shade for coffee plants. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) has developed a strict set of criteria for evaluating whether shade coffee farms and their environment are eligible for the Bird Friendly® seal of approval. Only those farms that meet organic certification standards are eligible to be certified as Bird-friendly®. Furthermore, companies that sell Bird-friendly certified coffee contribute 25 cents per pound to support SMBC research and conservation programs.

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With the Swiss Water Process® the green beans are soaked in hot water to remove the caffeine and compounds responsible for much of the flavor of the coffee. The first batch of beans is then discarded, while the caffeine is stripped from the solution by means of activated carbon filters. This leaves a solution saturated with flavor compounds, which is then used to soak a new batch of green coffee. The principle is that the solution is saturated with all components soluble in water other than caffeine, and therefore only the caffeine in the bean is allowed to escape whereas the rest of the compounds are in equilibrium. The Swiss Water® decaffination process is natural and 100% certified organic. For further information on the Swiss Water process see


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